Retired professor Al Rogosin remembered for commitment to teaching, environmentalism

Longtime professor Alfred (Al) Rogosin left a legacy at Brandon University (BU) and the wider community with his dedication to education and conservation. Rogosin passed away on May 24, at the age of 98.

Rogosin was the first botanist to join Brandon College’s newly formed Department of Botany, in 1962. He worked at BU until his retirement, in 1992, and was instrumental in the building of a herbarium reference plant collection at the university. Rogosin continued to spend significant time working with the plants at the herbarium for nearly three decades after his retirement. He received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990, and he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, recognizing his advocacy for conservation and education. In 2002, he established the Senior Biology Scholarship in support of biology students at BU. The endowment will continue to honour Rogosin’s lifelong commitment to BU and the fascinating world of Biology.

Al Rogosin

“Al Rogosin is remembered fondly by many at Brandon University and across the region,” said BU Biology professor Dr. Terry McGonigle. “Al will be keenly missed at talks given on campus about plants and the environment, where he invariably asked interesting and informed questions, and where he offered encouragement to students and fellow researchers.”

Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Rogosin served in the United States Navy during World War II. Stationed in Hawaii, he installed radio equipment in aircraft. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

While at Brandon University, Rogosin extensively researched the growth and ecology of wild rice in Manitoba. He was instrumental in the building of a herbarium reference plant collection at BU and continued to spend significant time working in the facility well after his retirement.

“Al Rogosin is remembered fondly by many at Brandon University and across the region.”

Dr. Terry McGonigle

A believer in fostering connections between the university and the community, Rogosin was a member of the Brandon Naturalists Society and the Mixedwood Forest Society in Manitoba, encouraging conservation and education about natural areas.

“Al made a tremendous contribution to the community, always ready to lead field trips to present plants in their natural environment, and most kindly taking care to identify plant material delivered by others to campus,” Dr. McGonigle said. “Al was also an active environmentalist, seeking always to preserve our shared natural heritage for future generations.”

Rogosin is survived by his wife, Marj, as well as three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A come-and-go gathering will be held on Tuesday, June 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the George Brockie Fellowship Centre in the lower level of the Brockie Donovan Funeral Home at 332 8th St. in Brandon.


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